Drinking and driving is a serious offense that can result in jail time, loss of your driver’s license, and steep fines. If you are convicted of a DUI, you will also have a criminal record that can follow you for the rest of your life. However, there are steps you can take to avoid being charged with a DUI. This article will explore six ways to avoid getting behind the wheel after drinking. By following these tips, you can help keep yourself and others safe on the road.

1. Know Your State Laws

Each state has different laws surrounding drinking and driving. Knowing the legal limit for blood alcohol content (BAC) in your state is important before you start drinking. In most states, including Maryland, for adults 21 and over, the legal BAC limit is 0.08%. If you are caught driving with a BAC above this level, you can be charged with a DUI.

To avoid this, ensure you know how many drinks you can have before reaching the legal limit. If you are unsure, err on the side of caution and don’t drink anything alcoholic. You can also use a BAC calculator to estimate your level based on factors such as your weight, gender, and the type of alcohol you are drinking.

2. Plan Ahead

Before you go out, make sure you have a plan for how you will get home. If you know you will be drinking, designate a sober driver who can stay sober for the entire night. This is the best way to avoid getting behind the wheel after drinking.

Other options are available if you don’t have a designated driver. You can use a ride-sharing service, take public transportation, or call a taxi. There are also many sober rides programs available in communities across the country. These programs provide free or discounted rides home for people who have been drinking. By planning ahead, you can ensure you always have a safe way to get home after drinking.

3. Sleep Over

If you are out drinking with friends, consider sleeping over at their house or renting a hotel room. This way, you won’t have to worry about driving home after drinking. Plus, you can enjoy your time with friends without worrying about getting behind the wheel.

Sleeping over also gives you time to sober up before driving. If you plan on driving home, wait at least eight hours after your last drink before getting behind the wheel. Remember to also hydrate by drinking plenty of water and avoid coffee or energy drinks, as they can actually make you more tired. By being ready to sleep over any time you go out, you can avoid the temptation of driving home after drinking and help keep yourself safe.

4. Avoid Drinking Alone

When you are out drinking with friends, there is usually someone who can help you get home if you have had too much to drink. However, if you are drinking alone, there is no one to stop you from getting behind the wheel.

To avoid this, always have someone with you when you are drinking. This could be a friend, family member, or even a designated driver. If you are drinking alone, make sure you have a plan for how you will get home before you start drinking. By avoiding drinking alone, you can help ensure that someone is there to stop you from driving if you have had too much to drink.

5. Install an Ignition Interlock Device

There are an estimated 5.5 million automobile accidents in the United States each year, with 3 million causing injuries and 40,000 resulting in fatalities. Drinking and driving is a leading cause of these accidents.

To help prevent drinking and driving, many states now require ignition interlock devices (IIDs) for drivers who have been convicted of a DUI. An IID is a breathalyzer that is installed in your car. The device prevents the car from starting if it detects alcohol on your breath. If you are worried about drinking and driving, you could have one of these devices installed in your car.

6. Get a Lawyer if You Are Arrested

If you are arrested for a DUI, it is important to get a lawyer as soon as possible. A DUI can have serious consequences, including jail time, loss of your driver’s license, and high fines. A lawyer can help you navigate the legal system and protect your rights.

Your lawyer can also help with any civil proceedings that may arise from your DUI, such as an insurance claim or lawsuit. Even though experts estimate that only about 1% of civic cases reach trial in federal courts as opposed to 11.5% in 1965, having a lawyer by your side can still be beneficial.

DUIs are no joke. They come with heavy penalties and can have a lasting impact on your life and wellness. So, rather than risk it, follow these tips to avoid a DUI. And if you are arrested for one, be sure to get a lawyer as soon as possible.